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A-Frame Chair
Iconic Designs

A-Frame Chair

About the Design

The Dunbar furniture company and designer Edward J. Wormley (1907–95) transformed American furnishings during the mid-20th century. Both Wormley and Dunbar hailed from the Midwest, and the fruit of their decades-long partnership is characterized by a strong ethos of classical design and the prioritization of well-made materials.

Wormley’s foray into design in the mid-1920s has origins in the correspondence course from New York School of Interior Design that he completed as a high school student as well as a two-year stint at the Art Institute of Chicago. But it was a trip to Paris in 1930 that had a permanent impact on his aesthetic. There, he spent time with architect and furniture maker Le Corbusier and Art Deco master Émile-Jacques Ruhlman. Upon returning to the United States, he landed his first job in the design department at Chicago’s Marshall Field & Company department store.

By 1931, Wormley was hired by Indiana-based Dunbar, and he worked there until the company was sold in 1970. Dunbar initially tasked Wormley with transforming its brand from an inexpensive manufacturer into a more high-minded retailer, and his exemplary work helped solidify the company as a top American furniture producer. Select pieces that Wormley would go on to create for Dunbar were included in the Good Design annual exhibitions of 1951 and 1952. The show was sponsored by the Chicago Merchandise Mart and New York City’s Museum of Modern Art to celebrate home furnishings that exemplified “excellent appearance and progressive performance.”

Manufactured in 1959, Wormley’s A-Frame chair merged his aptitude for creating comfortable seating with his woodworking expertise and appetite for innovation. The chair was a huge hit for Dunbar — its elegant woven caned backrest, leather seat and compass legs positioned it as an attractive, seamless fit for interiors nationwide.

A Frame Chair

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Edward Wormley Constellation Table for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in San Francisco, CA
Edward Wormley design constellation side table for Dunbar Furniture, USA. Elegant little table perfect for drinks with a laminate top inlaid with wood circles to immitate stars. Spla...
Category

Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Side Tables

Materials

Laminate, Mahogany

Pair of 1950s Edward Wormley for Dunbar Cane Back Brass Armchairs Model 5480
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in St.Petersburg, FL
A pair of Model 5480 brass stiletto cane chairs designed by Edward Wormley for Dunbar Furniture. Details are everything, and nothing was skipped in this design. With exposed brass ha...
Category

Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Brass

Incredible Caned Y back A-Frame Chair by Edward Wormley for Dunbar, C. 1950s
By Dunbar Furniture, Edward Wormley
Located in Hudson, NY
A very beautiful original example of an Edward Wormley for Dunbar Furniture Company "Y" chair or "A-Frame" chair circa 1950-1959. Featuring brass feet, walnut frame, caned back, and ...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Armchairs

Materials

Leather, Cane, Walnut

Edward Wormley Captain's Chair for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in San Francisco, CA
Edward Wormley design armchair or Captain's chair for Dunbar, Model 5480. Elegant and iconic design by Edward Wormley executed in lacquered ash molded plywood with original cane and ...
Category

Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Armchairs

Materials

Upholstery, Oak, Plywood

'A-Frame' Chair by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A Mid-Century Modern Classic 'A-Frame' armchair with a woven caned backrest, upholstered black leather seat and brass capped feet. Designed by Edward Wormley, produced by Dunbar in t...
Category

Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Armchairs

Materials

Brass

Pair Edward Wormley for Dunbar Model 5480 Chairs
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Brooklyn, NY
An iconic Edward Wormley design, the ‘A-Frame' chair is a wonderful example of Wormley’s expertise in mixing materials into sophisticated, architectural forms. Employing dark stained...
Category

Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Armchairs

Materials

Leather, Bentwood

Edward Wormley for Dunbar Captain's "Y" Chair, ca. 1955
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Costa Mesa, CA
Edward Wormley for Dunbar Captain's "Y" chair, ca. 1955. Professionally restored walnut frame with new back caning and new upholstered seat with super soft and luxurious ivory wool f...
Category

Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Armchairs

Materials

Brass

Edward Wormley Captain's Chair for Dunbar, Model 5480
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in San Francisco, CA
Edward Wormley design armchair or Captain's chair for Dunbar, Model 5480. Elegant and iconic design by Edward Wormley executed in ash plywood with original cane and finish with a new...
Category

Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Armchairs

Materials

Brass

A-Frame Armchair by Edward Wormley
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A horseshoe back armchair with white leather upholstery and ebonized mahogany frame.
Category

Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Armchairs

Materials

Leather, Mahogany

Edward Wormley for Dunbar 5480 Sculpted Lounge Chair, circa 1955
By Edward Wormley, Dunbar Furniture
Located in Costa Mesa, CA
Edward Wormley for Dunbar style 5480 sculpted armchair, circa 1955. Fully restored, ebonized frame with new ivory leather upholstery and new cane back. Beautiful brass detailing has ...
Category

Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Armchairs

Materials

Leather, Cane

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